Plan a Fundraiser that Engages Kids: 6 Top Tips for Schools

Your school undoubtedly enjoys supporting the programs and activities that your students love, and you should be able to continue to do so. But as an educator or member of the PTA, your time is limited. You have many tasks vying for your attention and it can be difficult to balance everything and still perform each task well.

School fundraising should not be another source of stress in your life. Fundraising for all of your kids and teens’ favorite programs can be fun and engaging for you, your students, and your community. However, to avoid becoming overwhelmed with stress as you organize the fundraiser, utilize an effective event fundraising software.  

To cultivate a fundraiser that kids will want to participate in and promote, you should:

  1. Plan a fun event.
  2. Stay organized.
  3. Encourage personalization.
  4. Allow healthy competition.
  5. Offer incentives.
  6. Make it shareable.

If you follow these 6 best tips for school fundraising, you will be blasting through your fundraising goals in no time—and getting your kids involved in the fundraising process. So, without further ado, let’s start learning how to create the best and most engaging fundraiser your school has ever seen!

1. Plan a fun event.

The best way to guarantee your students actually want to get involved in your fundraiser is to make it fun and simple. It is entirely possible that the goal of raising money is not enough to get the students to engage with the fundraiser.

Depending on the age of the kids, they may not quite grasp the importance of money in making sure the programs you provide can still be offered year after year.  

To ensure the students value the fundraiser, try planning your fundraiser around a fun event. To get some inspiration for fundraising ideas, click here.

A Fun Run or Jog-a-thon is an excellent example of a fun and easy event that’s well-suited for school-aged children.

The concept of a Fun Run or Jog-a-thon is simple. The student should recruit friends, adults, and family to pledge money for each unit of distance that they run or donate a lump sum for the entire distance. This could look like:

  • Uncle Joe pledges $3 for every lap ran by Timmy S.
  • Janet pledges $2 for every half mile ran by Ellie H.
  • Charlie donates $50 to Louis’ Fun Run fund.

An effective walk-a-thon allows for the kids to hang out with their friends and stay active while supporting their school.

2. Stay organized.

One of the hardest parts of organizing and promoting a large-scale school fundraiser is making sure all of your data stays organized. You may be unfamiliar with fundraising techniques and strategies—and that’s completely normal!

To stay organized and properly manage the information you gather from your Fun Run or Jog-a-thon you should employ a Fun Run/Jog-a-thon fundraising software, like 99Pledges.

The best software will track and manage the pledges made to your Fun Run or Jog-a-thon so that you don’t have to! Yes, you heard that correctly. You will never have to sit with a calculator adding up the money that each pledgor owes to your child’s fundraising page.

This technology will allow you to load each child’s information into the program and create a custom-made, individualized fundraising page for supporters to donate or pledge money to.

If you want to get kids and teens involved invested in your fundraising efforts, you need to have an organized system that can easily integrate students into its process.

3. Encourage personalization.

While you are all fundraising for the same end result, your fundraiser participants may have many reasons for becoming involved. Some people might participate because they are passionate about the cause or the program that your event benefits. Meanwhile, others may want to compete for incentives or simply participate in your fun event.

Whatever the reason for their participation, you should encourage students to personalize their fundraising page to entice more supporters.

With the right software tool, each student will be able to fundraise separately for a common goal. While some fields on their unique page may be consistent throughout all the supporters, such as the:

  • School name or program
  • Description of the fundraiser
  • Per participant goal
  • Date of the fundraiser

The students or their parents should still have the option to write a fundraising letter that offers an impassioned appeal for donations and pledges that will be more likely to draw in friends and family supporters.

This fundraising letter should:  

  • Describe the fundraising event in their own words.
  • Explain what the fundraiser benefits.
  • Convey the student’s reason for participating.
  • Provide donation information.
  • Thank the supporter in advance.

It is not likely that friends and family members will donate or pledge money simply because it is a good cause. They want the emotional appeal—they want to donate and pledge money because it is something the student is passionate about.

Feel free to encourage your students to make this fundraiser their own. This will not only cause the students to become more invested in the outcome of the fundraiser, but it will also boost your fundraising revenue!

4. Allow healthy competition.

One of the benefits of your PTA hosting a participant-based fundraising event is that the work is divided up among a wide range of people. While we know it can be difficult to motivate such a wide group of kids, make sure you don’t underestimate the power of healthy competition.

Friendly competition among friends has the potential to greatly enhance your fundraising revenue and encourage students to work hard to gain supporters.

The students should be able to have some sort of visual that represents how much each student is fundraising. A good software tool will display top donations that can serve as motivation for students to seek out additional support for their pages.

If you choose to do a walk-a-thon, or any variation of the event-a-thon, it is easy for the students to see how hard their peers are working. The student may be more inclined to walk further or read more or hit more baseballs if they can see how well other participants are doing.

While good, old-fashioned competition is one of the best motivators in fundraising among kids and teens, you must remember to provide some incentives that will further encourage the students to put effort into the campaign.

5. Offer incentives.

If you want to modify your fundraising strategy to maximize the number of students who are meaningfully engaging with your fundraiser, you should offer incentives to participants. Kids and teens love free stuff and added perks— but then again, who doesn’t?

To make competition a sustainable motivator and to help students stay excited about your fundraiser, you must give them a light at the end of the tunnel. They need something to look forward to and something to latch onto as they fundraise.

Don’t worry. The incentives don’t need to be elaborate or expensive, just something that will appeal to the kids and teens participating in your fundraising event.

Potential incentives you may want to offer include:

  • A pizza party for the classes with the highest participation rates.
  • Giving a percentage of the total earnings to the class who raises the most money.
  • Allowing the class to allocate the money they earn above their goal to a project of their own.

Depending on the age of your students, they may respond better to different incentives. Make sure you offer incentives that you know your students will love and want to achieve.

An easy way to incentivize all of your students at once is to provide fundraising team t-shirts. These can be custom made based on class, grade, or school depending on the size of your fundraiser. The kids will love the free merch and be excited to wear it, which will, in turn, promote the fundraiser.  

To see how you can increase excitement in your fundraiser with a tangible incentive, check out Bonfire’s custom school shirts.

6. Make it shareable.

The best tactic to include in your fundraising plan when hosting a school fundraiser that kids and teens will want to be a part of is to make it shareable on social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so many more social media platforms have taken over how people communicate with one another and share news that is important to them.

Depending on the age of your students they may have their own social media accounts or, at the very least, it is likely their parents have accounts. Enabling students to share the fundraiser with remote friends and family members and to engage with the fundraiser on their own terms will make it more likely that the students actually want to participate.

You will be able to reach more people and encourage the students to promote their own fundraising page if the event-a-thon software that you use allows mobile sharing of personalized pages, your students and their parents are sure to want to spread the word about the school fundraiser.


Your school fundraiser should be easy and fun for everyone involved—student, teachers, parents, and supporters alike! With the right software, your walk-a-thon or other exciting fundraising events can engage your students and increase your fundraising revenue.


This post was contributed by Brad Dowhaniuk.

Brad Dowhaniuk is the co-founder of 99Pledges, which provides schools and teams with an easy-to-use, web-based fundraising solution to manage and drive success in Fun Runs, jog-a-thons, baseball hit-a-thons, and much more.

Double the Donation-Funraise-matching gifts integration-feature

Double the Donation is Proud to Announce Matching Gift Integration with Funraise

Atlanta, GA (April 22, 2019) — Double the Donation is proud to announce our latest integration with Funraise, a leading provider of innovative fundraising technology. 360MatchPro is debuting on the Funraise platform as the preferred matching gifts solution for Funraise customers.

360MatchPro is readily available for all of Funraise’s current and future customers to provide easy-to-use, fully-automated corporate matching gift capabilities. Once a Funraise customer has a 360MatchPro account, they are able to turn on the matching gift functionality directly within the Funraise platform, or they can create an account right then and there.

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Funraise customers with an existing 360MatchPro account can enter their API Keys to activate the integration.

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Funraise customers who would like to activate the integration can get started with 360MatchPro within the Funraise platform.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Double the Donation on behalf of Funraise’s customers,” said Justin Wheeler, Funraise CEO & Co-founder. “Their 360MatchPro product doesn’t just save our clients time and effort—this integration also increases donation revenue while ditching donor frustration during the donation process. It’s Funraise’s mission to do away with the nonprofit struggle using smart, nonprofit-led fundraising technology, which is why Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro is a perfect match with Funraise.”

By allowing users to embed Double the Donation’s advanced search tool across their website pages and giving forms, as well as encouraging the use of automated email marketing, 360MatchPro helps organizations to enlighten their donors about matching gift opportunities. The biggest hurdle to building matching gift revenue is the lack of awareness about these programs among donors.

“Funraise is such a great company to work with, and we are very happy to provide their customers with our advanced matching gift tools,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “With automated follow-up, these nonprofits are able to claim some of the $4-7 billion of matching gift revenue that goes unclaimed every year. We truly believe that, in addition to access to our thorough database of companies that offer matching gifts, automating the follow-up process revolutionizes existing matching gift programs.”

With 360MatchPro, nonprofit organizations are able to identify match-eligible donors, track the status of those donors’ match requests, and automate the follow-up emails that will drive these matches to completion. The platform also provides actionable insights to help nonprofits shape their matching gift programs moving forward.

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360MatchPro’s innovative software is able to identify match-eligible donors through email capture, self-identification, and bulk uploads. From there, 360MatchPro drives these matches to completion using customized, automated email streams.

Every nonprofit organization and educational institution can benefit from corporate matching gift revenue. However, nonprofit organizations often don’t have the resources to incorporate matching gifts into their overall fundraising strategy, or they can’t afford to dedicate a full-time employee to a matching gift program. With 360MatchPro, the automated email streams handle all of the necessary follow-up to build an effective matching gift program with no manpower necessary.

Find out more about Funraise at https://funraise.org.

Find out more about Double the Donation at https://doublethedonation.com/ or schedule a private demo of 360MatchPro at https://www.360matchpro.com/demo-request/.

Finding the Best Camp Database Software: 6 Key Features

So many parts of your summer camp are made special by the people involved and the location of your camp. Your summer camp makes a difference in your community by creating magic for children in a variety of ways. But what about the magic created by not having to worry about the administrative tasks of running your camp?

We all know that managing a summer camp requires a ton of work. Before your campers arrive, you have to have registrations, waivers, medical documentation, housing requests, staffing decisions, and activities all collected and organized! That seems like a Herculean task for someone working alone, and still a massive undertaking for a group of people.

But what if there were a tool that could make running a camp easier, so that you can spend more time making magic and less time organizing paperwork? That tool is called camp database software, and it’s not a magic wand. It’s a software solution that allows you to offer registration, collect payments and paperwork, hire counselors, and more.

There are a lot of different options on the market, so we’ve made a list of our top 6 cannot-live-without summer camp database features that you should look for in your camp database software.

Those 6 features are:

  1. Online registration and payment options.  
  2. Electronic healthcare portal.
  3. Integrated point-of-sale systems.
  4. Marketing and communication tools.
  5. Campers’ choices for experiences.
  6. Reporting and analytics tools.

Are you ready to learn more about these features and why they’re so important for running a safe and successful summer camp? Let’s dive in!

1. Online registration and payment options.  

One of the key features that your camp database needs is the ability to register campers, accept important documents, and process payments online. When your campers can register from the convenience of their own home (with the help of their parents!) you’ll find that your registration process is much smoother than it would be with paper.

When your camp families are able to register online, you’ll find that your whole registration process becomes much simpler and easier for everyone involved. Doubly so if you accept online payments!

How does moving the process to digital make it easier?

  • When parents submit their registration form online, there’s no way for it to be lost: it lives in your (hopefully cloud-based) database storage, where you can always find it by searching for the camper or the session.
  • If they’re able to submit their payment or partial payment online immediately, your camp is able to increase off-season revenue streams to prepare for the summer sessions. Plus, you won’t have to worry about chasing checks or losing payments.
  • All the required documents, from waivers to prescriptions, will be linked to the camper’s registration. No more file cabinets full of disorganized important paperwork.

Online registration and payment is the first feature that you should look for when choosing the right database software for your camp. Making your registration process easier will make all the following systems and processes flow that much more easily, as well.

For more specifics on what you need in camp registration software, check out this guide from CircuiTree.

2. Electronic healthcare portal.

When parents send their children to summer camp, they are entrusting your counselors and staffers with the responsibility of keeping their child safe. This responsibility doesn’t always mean protecting campers from lions, tigers, and bears; sometimes, it’s making sure a child takes their medication on time or keeping them away from an allergen.

To make this task easier for counselors and staffers, choose a camp database software that empowers healthcare professionals to:

  • Access a child’s health information from any internet-enabled device.
  • Remain in compliance with state and federal healthcare regulations.
  • Track what goes on every session, from dispensing medication to alerting a parent.

When a child is registered, all of the relevant health information is stored in their camper profile. Your nurses or other medical professionals will be able to access all of that information, as well as print it out in order to give to emergency medical services or a hospital.

The health and wellbeing of your campers is of the utmost importance, so make sure that your camp database prioritizes it as much as you do and provides all the functionality that your healthcare team could need.

3. Integrated point-of-sale systems.

Nothing tops being able to pick out a super-cool camp t-shirt at the end of the week and buy it from the camp store to wear all year round. But in order to create the opportunity for this experience as well as keep track of the data generated by the purchase, you should search for a camp database that includes an integrated point-of-sale.

When your database includes your point-of-sale system, you can use your camp store for so much more than just processing payments. You can:

  • Keep track of buying habits of campers and families.
  • Allow parents to pay in whatever way makes the most sense: cash, card, or check.
  • Allow campers to charge payments to their accounts, so that their parents can pay for their purchases.
  • Keep track of inventory at your camp store, your warehouse, or multiple camp locations.

Having this data at your fingertips makes camp shopping that much easier for the parents of your campers, and store management that much easier for you. You’ll never run out of t-shirts, and you can make smarter inventory decisions based on the trends of the years before.

4. Marketing and communication tools.

In order to build a sustainable camp ecosystem, you have to be able to find new campers, as well as communicate with the existing ones. Existing camp families will want to be updated and reminded about goings-on at the camp, and your potential campers will appreciate the effort that you demonstrate in reaching out to them.

You should be able to reach out to camp families in a variety of ways, including:

  • Scheduled emails for reminders.
  • Automated emails with templates for basic processes.
  • Mass emails to different segments.

Communicating with your community in the off-season is a great way to ensure that you’re at the front of their minds when they start to plan out their summers again. And to make sure that you’re reaching new families that want to send their child to camp, look for features like:

Marketing is an important part of your camp’s ongoing strategy for success, so when you choose a camp database with marketing tools you’ll find that you’re set up for the future. For more summer camp marketing strategies, check out this easy list from CircuiTree.

5. Campers’ choices for experiences.

You hopefully will be dealing with a lot of campers this summer. Your camp database software should act as a group management software, and therefore make it easier to manage groups!

One of the most important features that you can look for in your summer camp database is the option for your campers to note what they want in their registration. Your campers are the heart and soul of your summer camp community, so making sure that they have the best summer possible is of vital importance.

Two of the easiest ways to do this are allowing campers to self-schedule their activities, and encouraging housing requests.

  1. Empowering campers to create their own activity schedules prevents a mad rush at breakfast on the first day and potentially not getting into the activities they like. It also takes the stress off your counselors, because you don’t have to worry about inputting all the handwritten schedules into a spreadsheet or other document.
  2. Housing requests allow campers to choose who they bunk with. This encourages shy children to attend camp with the comfort of a friend, as well as allows camp friends to stay together summer after summer. When your database tracks housing requests and bunk assignments within the software, your staff won’t have to worry about matching kids to beds.

Offering these options empowers your campers to focus on the areas that they want to excel in, and avoid the ones they have no interest in. Plus, getting to choose who you bunk with works as a marketing tactic. Campers who want to invite their friends are more likely to do so if they know that they’ll get to stay together and participate in the same activities!

6. Reporting and analytics tools.

Your summer might be over and your campers have all gone home, but the work isn’t done. It’s time to use all the data that’s been stored in your camp database to make decisions for the upcoming summer. When choosing the right camp database for your summer camp, make sure to seek out one that offers powerful reporting and analysis tools.

When you can visualize and share the data that you collect, your whole staff will be able to understand how your camp is doing and work together to make the next summer even better. With comprehensive reporting tools, you’ll be able to answer questions like:

  • How engaged are our employees?
  • Where do most of our campers come from?
  • What is our most popular session?
  • How many campers were left on the waitlist?
  • How much of a profit is our camp store making?
  • What is our turnover rate for counselors?

All of these questions can help you make stronger marketing, hiring, and managing decisions for the following summer. For example, if you know that most of your campers come from Southern California, you can spend more effort marketing in that region. If your camp store is making a killing on t-shirts but losing money on baseball caps, consider ordering more t-shirts for sale and reducing your baseball cap offering.

Data-driven decisions are the key to ensuring continuing success, so make sure that your camp database empowers your staff to understand the data behind the summer and make those decisions.

Summer camp is a joyous place, but even these joyous places require paperwork and healthcare facilities. Make sure that your camp is prepared for anything by investing in the right summer camp database for your unique program. If you want to know more about essential camp database features, click here.

Author Bio

Before becoming a camp professional, Glen enjoyed many other pursuits. A native San Diegan, he worked through college as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. He has a passion for literature and the outdoors, and is a veteran of U.S. Coast Guard, so he naturally loves to get out on the water with his wife and two kids whenever possible. He loves hearing camp cheers outside his office window during the summer, while helping camps across the country overcome their unique challenges!

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Soapbox Engage Selects Double the Donation for Matching Gifts

Atlanta, GA (February 20, 2019) — Double the Donation is excited to announce their latest partnership with Soapbox Engage, a platform created by PICnet and comprised of several online engagement apps for nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

Soapbox Engage clients can now easily activate Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro within the Donations app. This automatically activates Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool on all of the donation pages within an organization’s Soapbox Engage platform.

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“Of course we’re always interested in offering our clients as many ways as possible to increase revenue,” said Ryan Ozimek, Co-Founder and CEO of PICnet. “With all of the client demand for Double the Donation’s matching gift tools, this integration shot to the top of our to-do list. This integration will allow our Soapbox Engage clients to increase revenue without lifting a finger.”

Lack of donor awareness is the biggest hurdle to collecting matching gift revenue, but this integration works to combat that lack of awareness. By embedding a matching gift search tool on every donation page, the organizations ensure that not a single donor misses out on the opportunity to discover matching gifts.

“Every year, $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue is left on the table each year,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “By providing tools like 360MatchPro, we aim to help as many organizations as possible claim their share of that revenue.”

In addition to the streamlined search tool on the Soapbox Engage donation forms, organizations using this integration will also have access to their own 360MatchPro platform. This tool removes the need for an employee dedicated to matching gifts.

360MatchPro provides actionable insights for enhancing an organization’s matching gift efforts, tracks all match-eligible donations, and automates ongoing email outreach to ensure that every matching gift opportunity is pursued.

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These automated emails provide donors with their company-specific matching gift information. If a donor did not identify their employer, these emails will encourage them to check to see if they are eligible for matching gifts. Each donor is also provided with a button to report back to the organization that they’ve requested a matching gift.

To learn more about Soapbox Engage, check out their entire suite of apps at https://www.soapboxengage.com/apps.

Find out more about Double the Donation at https://doublethedonation.com/ or schedule a private demo of 360MatchPro at https://www.360matchpro.com/demo-request/.

Double the Donation Announces New Integration with Kindful

Atlanta, GA (February 5, 2019) — Double the Donation is excited to announce a new integration with Kindful, a powerful donor management software for nonprofits.

Kindful clients can now create a direct link between their Kindful account and 360MatchPro, Double the Donation’s most robust matching gift tool. Every donation will flow from the Kindful CRM into 360MatchPro, where they’ll be logged, tagged and tracked.

With 360MatchPro, Kindful users can completely automate their matching gift efforts. This platform automates all matching gift outreach, provides actionable insights into ongoing matching gift efforts, and tracks the status of every potential matching gift.

“Kindful customers are changing the world, and are always looking for like-minded partners,” said Jeremy Bolls, Founder and CEO of Kindful. “They wanted access to the best matching gift tools, and I’m happy to report that this new 360MatchPro integration offers access to Double the Donation’s incredible platform as well as their extensive matching gift database. We’ve known the folks at Double the Donation for years and are thrilled to partner with them in the matching gift space.”

Double the Donation maintains the most comprehensive database of matching gift programs available. It includes over 20,000 entries of parent companies, subsidiaries, and spelling variations to ensure that not a single matching gift opportunity slips through the cracks.

Lack of donor awareness is the biggest hurdle to collecting corporate matching gifts. To narrow the gap between donors and matching gift information, 360MatchPro triggers out emails to every donor.

“With $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue left on the table every year, Double the Donation is committed to helping Kindful clients claim some of that revenue,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “We simplify matching gifts and automate the entire process so that 360MatchPro clients can skip the minutiae and focus on their missions.”

If the donation was made with a corporate email address, the donor receives company-specific matching gift information and is encouraged to submit a matching gift request. If no employer information is known, the donor is sent a link to a search tool where they can find their employer’s matching gift guidelines.

To guarantee that donors understand the matching gift program offered by their employers, Double the Donation presents company-specific matching gift information in an illustrated, easy-to-understand format.

Find out more about Kindful at https://www.kindful.com/.

Find out more about Double the Donation at https://doublethedonation.com/ or schedule a private demo of 360MatchPro at https://www.360matchpro.com/demo-request/.

Matching Gift Retention is the Future of Fundraising

With so many different ways to fundraise for our nonprofits, we’re being pulled in too many directions, and our ability to focus on the most impactful channels is becoming difficult. The future of fundraising is a strategy that enables organizations to overcome resource constraints and competing data sources to maximize fundraising and optimize programs.

Two areas that are worthy of tactical coordination are matching gifts and donor retention. In this post, we’re going to outline why retaining your matching gift donors in particular is going to have an amazing impact on your organization’s immediate revenue and long term sustainability.

Why retention needs to be your central strategy

The cost to acquire $1 from a new donor averages $1.25, yet retaining a donor comes at a significantly lower cost. According to research by acclaimed nonprofit researcher Adrian Sargeant, if an organization retains 10% of their current donors then their net growth in giving for the “typical” nonprofit will grow by 50%.

This data has historically focused solely on the individual donor and not taken matching gifts into account. Given that the majority of companies offering matching gifts are matching at a 1:1 ratio, while others can give as much as $4 for every $1 donated, there is an amazing amount of potential when we focus our retention efforts on match-eligible donors.

From a pure revenue generation standpoint, organizations will be able to dramatically alter their revenue projections if they can identify and retain donors who have historically been able to match their gifts.

So where do we begin?

Data stewardship will maintain your impact

A common source of frustration for donors is poor communication, which is typically a symptom of a much larger issue surrounding data integrity. It costs an organization $1 to verify a record upon entry, $10 to dedupe and clean data AFTER input, and $100 per bad record if nothing is done.

Identifying matching gift opportunities and maintaining donor retention both begin with having accurate data on your donors, so kick off your retention strategy by investing in data stewardship. This can be achieved by concentrating on small changes to processes that your organization may be missing right now:

This becomes especially important when leveraging impact-focused integrations like the 360MatchPro integration with NeonCRM’s donor management system, since having an accurate name and email on file will ensure that the automated marketing will be automatically delivered to drive more matching gift requests to completion.

An important process adjustment includes logging which businesses a donor works with. If you notice on LinkedIn or through your matching gift outreach that a person has changed jobs, be sure that this change is reflected on their account in your database of record.

Use personas to hone your retention message

Once your organization has established a confident foundation for your donor database, you will be able to begin strategic outreach and cultivation around donor retention. Rather than randomly calling people who have donated in the past, your organization can implement a data-driven outreach plan that centers around the creation of donor personas for your retention stewardship needs.

The concept of personas originally came from the marketing world as a way to group buyers into key segments of your audience. Since then, there has been some exciting work done around developing donor personas specific to the nonprofit industry.

Developing a persona to organize your work around can help to clarify the key items that will relate to your audience. Instead of creating mass messaging that doesn’t appeal to anyone, organizations should be crafting communications that speak directly to a specific audience.

An added step that your organization could be taking involves running reports specifically on donors who have requested matching gifts in the past. Being able to create a persona specifically around match-eligible donors will be an empowering step toward maximizing your impact. Take it one step further and create personas around new match-eligible donors versus lapsed match-eligible donors.

Make donor love central to your mission

Beyond poor communication, another reason that your organization may be losing donors is the donation experience itself. Review how easy it is to make a donation on your website and, more specifically, how clear your instructions around initiating a matching gift are.

Donor love should be at the center of the giving experience. You can do this by centering fundraising appeals around your organization’s mission and message as well as the donor’s role in making an impact. Make the experience about the donor’s ability to drive change and ensure that your organization is not taking a “me me me” approach to communications.

You can start by taking a hard look at your organization’s website since it will be one of the primary resources that donors use to determine whether they will be giving to your nonprofit.

No matter what your organization does, focusing on your mission will always ensure that donors feel an emotional attachment to your organization.

Donor retention is about ensuring that you are building a lasting relationship with the individual that is giving to you. Matching gifts take that relationship to the next level, involving a generous corporate partner as well as your individual donor. By combining matching gifts with a strategy focused on donor retention, you will be able to chart an exciting path towards sustainability and growth for your nonprofit.

Want to learn more about how NeonCRM has partnered with Double the Donation?

Tim SarrantonioTim Sarrantonio is a team member at Neon One and has more than 10 years of experience working for and volunteering with nonprofits. Tim has raised over $3 million for various causes, engaged and enhanced databases of all sizes, procured multiple successful grants, and formulated engaging communications and fundraising campaigns for several nonprofits. He has presented at international conferences and is a TEDx speaker on technology and philanthropy. He volunteers heavily in his hometown, Niskayuna, NY.

 

6 types of fundraising letters for nonprofits

6 Types of Fundraising Letters: Write Amazing Appeals! [2019 Update]

Sending out fundraising letters might seem like an old-fashioned way to ask for donations, but they can be extremely effective when written correctly!

If you’ve been looking for fundraising letters, look no further! We’ve got six of the most common fundraising letters that nonprofits should be sending out to their donors.

Here’s what we’ll be going over:

  1. Donation Request Letters
  2. Church Fundraising Letters
  3. Individual Fundraising Letters
  4. Matching Gift Fundraising Letters
  5. Sponsorship Letters
  6. Donor Thank-You Letters

Tools we mention to support fundraising letter campaigns:

  1. DonateKindly
  2. Fundly
  3. Double the Donation
  4. Fundraising Letters

Let’s jump right in!

1. Donation Request Letters

Fundraising Letters - donation request letters

What are donation request letters?

Donation request letters are nonprofit fundraising letters that charitable organizations send out to individual donors and/or prospects.

They can be sent on their own or included in a welcome packet that contains pamphlets, booklets, and additional information.

When should you use them?

Your nonprofit can use donation request letters at any time of the year! However, they are particularly effective toward the end of the calendar year when donors are determining their pre-tax season finances. People also tend to be more charitable in November and December, which means that your donation request letter has a better chance of encouraging a donation.

You can send out donation request letters to any of your donors, but these types of communications are better received by older generations. While millennials respond to digital donation appeals, the baby boomer generation overwhelmingly prefers direct mail.

Bonus: We suggest giving donors the option to reply to your letters by mailing a traditional check or directing them to give through your organization’s website. If you need to start accepting donations via your website quickly and don’t want to worry about fees, then we recommend a free and simple donation tool like DonateKindly.

Example letter


Date

Your Name
Your Organization’s Name
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear [Donor’s Name],

[Begin with an emotional appeal. A success story or a narrative that tugs on your donors’ heartstrings hooks your readers. Keep it short, though!]

Our community/nation/world is facing [problem(s) your organization is trying to fix]. While we are actively [insert current solutions your organization is attempting], we need your help to make our efforts go even further!

You can help us [solve the problem you’re trying to fix]. Your support is crucial to our efforts to [solve the problem].
If you’re able, we’d love it if you could make a donation of [amount] to help us achieve our mission and [solve problem].

Thank you in advance for your contribution. Your donation will go toward [insert effort, accomplishment, or project].

Here are the ways you can make a donation:

— Make a donation online at [URL to donation page or crowdfunding campaign page]
— Call us at [phone number]
— Send a check in the pre-stamped envelope we’ve included (no cash, please!)
— Text [keyword] to [text-to-give phone number]

Thank you again!
Sincerely,

[Signature of an organizational leader]
[Typed name of organizational leader]

P.S. [End with an update about an upcoming event, volunteer opportunity, or other information]

 



2. Church Fundraising Letters

Fundraising Letters - church fundraising letters

What are church fundraising letters?

Church fundraising letters can take many forms. They can be used to ask for general church-related contributions, but they can also be used for specific fundraising efforts such as:

  • Charity auction item requests.
  • Fundraising event donations.
  • Sponsorship requests.
  • Mission trip funding.
  • Church building funds.
  • Missionary support.

It’s common for churches to send out fundraising letters to notify congregants when church events or other fundraising initiatives are occurring. These types of fundraising letters can be used to share the details—date, time, location, etc.—of the event as well as encourage those who can’t attend to give in advance.

For our purposes, we’ll be talking about a generic church fundraising letter that you can use to ask for general contributions.

You can send church fundraising letters to members of your congregation or to community members, depending on your fundraising need.

When should you use them?

You can send out church letters whenever you have a fundraising need! Churches rely on the generosity of their congregants to keep the doors open and the lights on.

Of course, you shouldn’t send out too many church fundraising letters. Limit your letters to a few per year and rely on in-person appeals during a church service for the majority of your fundraising efforts.

Sample letter


Date

Your Name
Your Church’s Name
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear [Church Member’s Preferred Name],

Greetings! We hope this letter finds you well and that you’ve had a relaxing, blessed holiday season. Because you’re an important part of our church family, we thought you’d want to know about our big plans for this new year.

As you may know, our congregation is growing. Just like any family, the more members you have, the more room you need. We’re pleased to invite you to be an important part of this exciting process!

This Sunday afternoon, [your church’s name] is hosting a special event to raise money for the brand new sanctuary and bell tower. How blessed are we to have so many members like yourself that we need to build an entirely new structure?

It’s our greatest hope that you’ll be able to join us at [date and time] for a family fun carnival! Snacks and drinks will be provided for a small price. The only thing you need to bring is your sense of fun and adventure!

Admission is free, but of course, willing contributions of any size are always accepted.

If you have any questions about the event or the new sanctuary or bell tower, please feel free to reach out to our special projects coordinator, [name] at [phone number] or email her at [email address].

As always, have a blessed day. We hope to see you Sunday!

His Clay,

[Pastor’s Signature]

[Pastor’s Name]



3. Individual Fundraising Letters

Fundraising Letters - individual fundraising letters

What are individual fundraising letters?

Nonprofits aren’t the only ones who have fundraising needs! Sometimes individuals need to raise money for a cause, project, or life event.

If that’s the case, you can use individual fundraising letters to send out donation requests to members of your community and local businesses.

Whatever you’re raising money for, an individual fundraising letter can help you generate funds for your cause, project, or event!

When should you use them?

You can use an individual fundraising letter whenever you need to raise money for a cause or project that means a lot to you. Of course, you shouldn’t just rely on fundraising letters to raise money.

You can set up a crowdfunding campaign to supplement your fundraising efforts. You can also use your fundraising letter to direct people to your crowdfunding page to give them an easy way to make a donation.

Letter template


Date

Your Name
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear [Donor’s Name],

My name is [your name] and I am [describe your position/situation/background]. I am looking to raise [amount of money] to help me pay for [project/expense/cause/etc.].

[Include information about why the cause or project is important to you and how it could potentially impact the reader or those you serve].

I’m writing to ask you to support me and my [cause/project/etc.]. Just a small donation of [amount] can help me [accomplish task/reach a goal/etc.]

Your donation will go toward [describe exactly what the contribution will be used for].

[When possible, add a personal connection to tie the donor to the cause. For example, if you’re raising money to help build a school in a developing country and you’re writing to a teacher, emphasize the fact that everyone deserves a quality education].

Thank you in advance for your contribution. You have no idea how much it means to me to have your support.

Here are the ways you can make a donation:

— Make a donation online at [URL of your crowdfunding campaign]
— Send a check in the pre-stamped envelope I’ve included (no cash, please!)
— Come to my fundraising event on [date] at [location] [when applicable]

Thank you again!
Sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your typed name]



4. Matching Gift Fundraising Emails or Letters

Fundraising Letters - matching gift fundraising letters

What are matching gift fundraising letters?

Matching gift fundraising letters are tangible letters (or emails) that nonprofits send out to donors to remind them to submit matching gift requests.

For those who don’t know, matching gifts are a type of corporate giving program. After an employee has made a charitable donation to an eligible nonprofit, they can submit paperwork to their company’s HR department. If the donation and the nonprofit meet the company’s requirements, the business will make a contribution to the nonprofit for the same amount.

However, many donors simply don’t know that their employer offers a matching gift program.

That’s where a matching gift fundraising letter comes in!

Your nonprofit should send out communications to remind donors that their contributions might be eligible to be doubled (and sometimes, even tripled!).

When should you use them?

The best time to promote matching gifts (besides during the donation process itself) is directly after a donation has been made.

Your nonprofit is still fresh in donors’ minds, and they’ll be more likely to submit a matching gift request.

As soon as a donor has made a contribution (regardless of how the donation was made), your nonprofit should send out an automatic email that:

  1. Thanks them for their donation, and
  2. Encourages them to submit a matching gift request.

You can also follow up a few days later with a matching gift fundraising letter if the donor hasn’t already submitted a matching gift request.

Example letter


Here is an example of a matching gift fundraising email:

Matching gift fundraising letters

This is an excellent example of a direct mail letter/postcard that promotes matching gifts:

Matching gift fundraising letters

Use these letters and emails in conjunction with one another to maximize your nonprofit’s matching gift potential!



5. Sponsorship Letters

Fundraising Letters - sponsorship letters

What are sponsorship letters?

Sponsorship letters are used by nonprofits that are looking to receive corporate sponsorship donations for a specific project or event.

Sponsorship letter packages include:

  • A sponsorship proposal cover letter.
  • A sponsorship levels document.
  • A sponsorship acknowledgement letter.

The proposal letter is the formal request for a sponsorship donation. It explains the nonprofit’s fundraising need and details how the funds will be used.

The sponsorship levels document is how companies decide how much they would like to give. This document lists out a few different sponsorship levels and the perks that come with each level. The higher the donation, the more perks the company receives.

The sponsorship acknowledgement letter is a thank-you to the company after they have made a donation. Your nonprofit can send out an acknowledgement immediately after a donation has been made and after the event has ended.

When should you use them?

Sponsorship letters should be sent out well in advance of your event or project. You want to give the company enough time to consider and respond to your donation request.

Sample letter


Date

Your Name
Your Organization’s Name
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear [CEO/CSR Manager/Business Owner/etc.],

[Open with a description of your organization. Give some brief background including your mission, vision, and how you serve your community.]

We are hosting our [event name] on [date] at [location]. Last year’s event was such a huge success that we decided to host the event again!

In the past, this event has raised [amount] and has [list out specific accomplishments using statistics and figures].

This year we’re hoping to raise even more! Our goal is [amount], and we were hoping that you could help us reach that goal.

By becoming one of our corporate sponsors, you’ll be able to [list out projects that corporate donations could help accomplish].
We’ve also listed out some of the incentives and perks that your company can enjoy should you decide to become one of our corporate sponsors (see attached Sponsorship Levels Document). Regardless of the amount you choose to give, your company name will be included in our event program and you’ll be included in the press release that we’ll publish on our website.

We’re accepting cash donations as well as in-kind donations of goods or services. Feel free to make a contribution that you’re comfortable with.

See the attached Sponsorship Levels Document to find the giving level that’s right for your company. If you’re ready to make a donation, please tear off the perforated section of the following document and send it back to us in the self-addressed envelope we’ve enclosed.

I’d like to thank you in advance for your generosity. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at [phone number] or [email] if you have any questions.

Sincerely/All the best/etc.,

[Your printed name]
[Your title]

[Your signature]



6. Donor Thank-You Letters

Fundraising Letters - donor thank you letters

What are donor thank-you letters?

Donor thank-you letter are pretty self-explanatory.

These letters (or emails!) are meant to be used after a donor has made a contribution of any kind, including:

  • Monetary contributions.
  • In-kind donations.
  • Volunteer time.
  • A matching gift from an employer.
  • And more!

When should you use them?

Your donor thank-you letters should be sent out as soon as you receive a contribution. Donors should receive an acknowledgement within two days of making a donation.

Feel free to send out an acknowledgement email as well as a direct mail letter. You can never be too appreciative of your donors!

Letter template


Date

Your Name
Your Organization’s Name
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear [Donor’s Preferred Name],

I can’t tell you how much all of us at [nonprofit name] appreciate your contribution to our cause. Thanks to your donation of [amount], we’ll be able to [list out specific goals, objectives, etc.].

I also wanted to let you know that we’ll be [hosting volunteer event, opening up our nonprofit’s doors for tours, holding a fundraising event, etc.]. We’d love to extend an invitation to you to participate in this opportunity! Our current donors have all enjoyed developing a stronger partnership with our organization, and I’m hoping you’ll do the same.

Thank you again!

[Your printed name]
[Your title]

[Your signature]


We hope that these six fundraising letter templates have given you some insight into how to write an amazing fundraising appeal. Which ones have you used in the past? Which letters have you had the most success with?

If you want to learn more valuable fundraising tips, check out these additional resources:

  1. Must-Know Nonprofit Software: Every nonprofit needs fundraising software if they want to raise money online. Learn about the top vendors providing nonprofits with top-notch tools to help you raise more donations.
  2. Online Fundraising Guide: Looking for more ways you can raise money online. You’re in luck! This extensive guide will lead you through everything you need to know about raising money online.
  3. 113+ Fundraising Ideas: Put your new fundraising letters to use by hosting a fundraiser. With our list of over one hundred ways to raise money, you’re bound to find an idea that will work perfectly for your nonprofit.

Rallybound Customers Drive Matching Gifts Integration with Double the Donation

Atlanta, GA (January 24, 2019) — Double the Donation is proud to announce our latest integration with Rallybound, a leading provider of online and mobile fundraising technology. With this integration, Rallybound clients can use 360MatchPro, Double the Donation’s most robust tool, to increase revenue raised in their Rallybound campaigns.

Rallybound customers were eager to utilize 360MatchPro’s incredible automation and Double the Donation’s signature streamlined search tool. Rallybound clients are now able to establish a direct link between their Rallybound accounts and their 360MatchPro platform.

All donations made to a Rallybound campaign flow directly into 360MatchPro. Immediately, donor email addresses are scanned for employer information and email follow-up is automatically triggered out to every donor.

“Rallybound is committed to customer satisfaction, so when our client base requests certain functionality, our ears perk up,” said Joe Magee, COO of Rallybound. “It’s no wonder that our clients wanted to connect their Rallybound and 360MatchPro accounts. 360MatchPro seamlessly integrates into Rallybound donation forms and completely automates the follow-up process for matching gifts.”

With the new 360MatchPro integration, Rallybound clients can revolutionize their matching gift efforts without lifting a figure. Rather than employ someone to manage matching gifts, this integration does all the heavy-lifting.

360MatchPro provides automated outreach and follow-up, offers actionable insights for enhancing matching gift efforts, and tracks the status of all matching gift opportunities.

 

 

The biggest hurdle for collecting matching gifts is the lack of awareness among donors. That’s why integrating a matching gift search tool directly into donation forms is so important; it plants the seed for matching gifts to every donor.

“Double the Donation’s tools were built to narrow the gap between donors and matching gift information,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “There is $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue left on the table every year, and we are trying to help nonprofit organizations claim those funds.”

Double the Donation presents matching gift information in a simple, illustrated, easy-to-understand format. This ensures that donors are aware of matching gifts and understand their company-specific matching gift guidelines.

To learn more about Rallybound, check out https://rallybound.com/.

Find out more about Double the Donation at https://doublethedonation.com/ or schedule a private demo of 360MatchPro at https://www.360matchpro.com/demo-request/.

Double the Donation-Beracha-partnership-feature

Double the Donation Partners with Beracha for Matching Gifts

Atlanta, GA (January 22, 2019) — Double the Donation is excited to announce a new partnership with Beracha, a leading provider of custom technology solutions.

Beracha has integrated 360MatchPro, Double the Donation’s enterprise matching gifts platform, into nSpire, a social donations and donor portal engine. This integration will allow nSpire users to collect every possible corporate matching gift.

With 360MatchPro, nSpire users can present each donor with clear and simple information about their employer’s matching gift guidelines. These guidelines can be found on the donation confirmation page and through an email automatically sent after each donation is made.

Double the Donation-beracha-integration announcement-image1

When donations are made using a corporate email address, that company’s matching gift guidelines are presented to the donor automatically. If a personal email is used, the donor will be presented with a matching gift search tool where they can search for their employer.

“When we were looking for a matching gifts partner, 360MatchPro stood out as both the most comprehensive and the easiest platform to use,” said Dana Dunmyer, CEO and President of Beracha. “We want it to be easy for nSpire users to collect as many matching gifts as possible, and we know 360MatchPro will help them do that.”

Double the Donation-Beracha-integration announcement-image 2

Every year, $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue goes unclaimed because donors don’t know that they are eligible to claim it. With 360MatchPro, each donor is automatically emailed and encouraged to check their match-eligibility.

“Our mission is to help as many organizations as possible collect that unclaimed matching gift revenue, and we’re excited to be working with the great team at Beracha,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “nSpire is such a great platform, and we’re proud to offer matching gifts as a new enhancement.”

The 360MatchPro integration provides each user with a 360MatchPro portal. This portal stores every donation, tracks the match-eligibility of each donor and the outreach they are sent, and offers actionable insights that organizations can use to enhance their matching gift efforts.

Double the Donation-Beracha-integration announcement-image3

 

Find out more about Beracha at https://beracha.org/.

Double the Donation-NeonCRM-partnership-feature

Double the Donation Partners with NeonCRM for Matching Gifts

Atlanta, GA (December 7, 2018) — Double the Donation is excited to announce to announce a new partnership with NeonCRM, a cloud-based software suite providing invaluable tools to nonprofit organizations.

NeonCRM can be fully integrated into 360MatchPro, Double the Donation’s most robust matching gifts tool. By simply inputting an organization’s NeonCRM Organization ID and API Key into their 360MatchPro account, donations begin to flow automatically from NeonCRM into 360MatchPro.

Double the Donation-NeonCRM-Integration

When donations flow into 360MatchPro, email automation begins instantaneously. Every donor will receive an automated follow-up email encouraging them to check their match-eligibility. Plus, the donors will then be able to report the submission of their matching gift request back to the organization.

“Matching gifts are a huge untapped revenue source. By providing our users with the most effective matching gift tools out there, we are offering them a chance to claim some of that revenue,” said Tim Sarrantonio, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Neon One. “Double the Donation not only offers the most user-friendly tools available, but also the most extensive and comprehensive tools. We are very excited to see what our NeonCRM users do with all the extra revenue.”

The biggest hurdle to collecting matching gifts is lack of donor awareness. By automatically following up with donors and encouraging them to check their match-eligibility, 360MatchPro is narrowing that gap.

“There is $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue left on the table every year, and our goal is to help as many organizations claim as many of those dollars as possible,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “We are very excited to see that number go down as NeonCRM users begin claiming more and more of that revenue.”

360MatchPro provides donors with company-specific matching gift information. This information is presented simply and clearly so that each and every donor understands what they qualify for and how to claim it.

NeonCRM users can track their email delivery success and open rates in their 360MatchPro portal. This is just one example of the many actionable insights provided by 360MatchPro.

To learn more about the suite of tools offered by NeonCRM, check out their website at https://www.neoncrm.com/.